Tagged / feasibility study

More pilots please!

“More pilots please!” is not a call from British Airways, Ryanair or the Royal Air Force.  No, it a reminder to students to do more piloting in their postgraduate research projects.  Between us we have read many (draft) theses and examined over 60 PhD theses external to Bournemouth University, and it is clear to us that many students do not do enough pre-testing or piloting of their research instruments.  Perhaps they did some piloting or feasibility work for their projects but don’t write enough about it.  Or they present some feasibility or piloting in their thesis but haven’t added references to methodological texts.

The term ‘pilot studies’ refers to mini versions of a full-scale study (also called ‘feasibility’ studies), as well as the specific pre-testing of a particular research instruments such as data collection tools (i.e. questionnaire or semi-structured interview schedule). Pilot studies are key to good study design [1-6].  Conducting a pilot study does not guarantee success in the main study, but it does increase the likelihood of success. Pilot studies have several of important functions in research design and can provide valuable insights to the researcher on both tools and research processes.  We think it is telling that our most cited paper on Google Scholar is not one of our papers reporting research findings but a methods paper highlighting the importance of pilot studies [2].

 

Professors Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen E, Rennie, AM., Hundley, V, Graham, W. (2001) The importance of conducting & reporting pilot studies: example of Scottish Births Survey, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 34: 289-95.
  2. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2001) The importance of pilot studies, Social Research Update Issue 35, (Editor N. Gilbert), Guildford: University of Surrey. Web:  http://www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/sru/SRU35.html
  3. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V.(2002) ‘The importance of pilot studies’ Nursing Standard 16(40): 33-36. Web: www.nursing-standard.co.uk/archives/vol16-40/pdfs/vol16w40p3336.pdf
  4. Hundley, V., van Teijlingen E, (2002) The role of pilot studies in midwifery research RCM Midwives Journal 5(11): 372-74.
  5. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2003) Pilot study, In: Lewis-Beck, M., Bryman, A. & Liao, T. (eds.) Encyclopaedia of Social Science Research Methods, Vol. 2, Orego, Sage: 823-24.
  6. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2005) Pilot studies in family planning & reproductive health care, Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care 31(3): 219-21.

 

 

EPSRC Call for Feasibility Study Proposals: Through-life engineering services

Summary

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Through-life Engineering Services is offering funding for feasibility studies in the field of through-life engineering services. Through-life Engineering Services are technical services that are necessary to guarantee required and predictable performance of a complex engineering system throughout its expected operational life with the optimum whole life cost. The feasibility studies should examine a subject area in the field, review activity in it, identify key challenges and research questions not currently being addressed and develop full proposals for funding by established routes. Awardees are expected to attract significant new industrial support and the subsequent major award will form a strategic part of the Centre activities. Awards are limited to £20,000 at 80% FEC and to a maximum duration of six months.

How to apply

Feasibility study applications should be submitted to Professor Rajkumar Roy, the National Centre Director (director@through-life-engineering-services.org), and copied to Andy Shaw, the National Centre Manager (manager@through-life-engineering-services.org).

Key dates

Activity Date
First Call Launched 14 May 212
Closing date for applications 30 June 2012
Evaluation of applications by the Centre Executive Committee                13 July 2012
Grants announced and feedback given by 30 July 2012
Expected start of the projects by 15th August 2012
 
Documents to download
Contact:

Stephanie Lewis

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.